Canons of the Lateran Council of 649

The Lateran Council of 649 was a local council of the Church of Rome organized by Maximus the Confessor and called by Pope Theodore I of Rome that was the first attempt by a pope of Rome to convene an ecumenical council independent of the Roman emperor. Pope Theodore died before the council met and was replaced by Pope Martin I. Although Martin and Maximus the Confessor were abducted after the council by Constans II and tried in Constantinople for their role in the council (Martin being replaced as pope before his death in exile), their position was ultimately endorsed by the Sixth Ecumenical Council in 680.

The synod had its roots in correspondence between Pope Theodore I and Maximus dating to 646, before the latter’s arrival in Rome. The momentum for the Council was almost extinguished when Patriarch Pyrrhus I of Constantinople in late 646/early 647 denounced Monothelitism before the clergy and laity in Roma. However, Pyrrhus changed his mind after leaving Rome and arriving in Ravenna. His successor, Paul II of Constantinople, was of the same mind.

Emperor Constans II issued the Typos in 648 which prohibited any discussion of the issue of “one will and one energy, or two energies and two wills” in Christ. The Typos was viewed as an unacceptable threat to the legacy of Chalcedon, and thus hardened the determination of Theodore and Maximus to convene a council. Maximus and other monks from his order did all of planning, preparation, and scripting of the Council, while there is little evidence that Pope Theodore did much to prepare for it.

On May 14, 649, Theodore died while preparations were on-going for the Council. His death left Maximus without his patron and collaborator of the last three years with the Papacy vacant at one of the most crucial times in the church’s history. The Roman clergy were faced with the difficult dilemma of finding a successor with the intellectual reputation to convene the Council, and who would not be denied the iussio of the emperor required for his consecration.

On July 5, 649, with the influence of Maximus, a deacon from Todi, in central Italy, was consecrated Pope Martin I, the first (and only) pope consecrated without imperial approval during the period of the Byzantine Papacy. Although he was the former apocrisiarius to Constantinople and well respected in the East, Martin’s election was an indisputable “battle cry against Constantinople”. Martin’s stature and proficiency in Greek was attested to by Theodore’s offer to appoint Martin as his personal representative to an earlier proposed synod in Constantinople.

News of the impending council reached Constantinople as Martin prepared for it during the summer and fall of 649, but the empire was too occupied with crises in the East to divert its attention. Far from being spontaneous or extemporaneous, the Council had been meticulously prepared and rehearsed over the previous three years. Despite Martin’s nominal role in presiding over the Council, none of its participants were ignorant of the decisive influence of Maximus in bringing it about. According to Ekonomou, the Council was “in form as well as substance, a manifestly Byzantine affair”.

The Council was attended by 105 bishops, all but one from the western portion of the Eastern Roman Empire. Stephen of Dor, a Palestinian, was the only bishop whose See was not in Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, or Africa. Transalpine Europe, Spain, Greece, and Crete—despite lying within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Rome—were not represented. One-fourth of the bishops were (as indicated by their names) likely of Eastern ethnicity or origin and thus probably Greek-speaking.

The Council’s formal pronouncements amounted to 20 canons. Canons X and XI are the ones that specifically took up the subject of Christ’s two wills and two energies, and were based mainly on Maximus’s earlier disputation against Pyrrhus while in Carthage. Source: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Lateran_Council

Canon 1. If anyone does not confess properly and truly in accord with the holy Fathers that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit [are a] Trinity in unity, and a unity in Trinity, that is, one God in three subsistences, consubstantial and of equal glory, one and the same Godhead, nature, substance, virtue, power, kingdom, authority, will, operation of the three, uncreated, without beginning, incomprehensible, immutable, creator and protector of all things, let him be condemned.

Canon 2. If anyone does not properly and truly confess in accordance with the Holy Fathers that God the Word himself, one of the holy and consubstantial and venerable Trinity, descended from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and Mary ever Virgin, and was made man, was crucified in the flesh, voluntarily suffered for us and was buried, and arose again on the third day, and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, and will come again with paternal glory, with his flesh assumed by Him and intellectually animated, to judge the living and the dead, let him be condemned.

Canon 3. If anyone does not properly and truly confess in accord with the holy Fathers, that the holy Mother of God and ever Virgin and immaculate Mary in the earliest of the ages conceived of the Holy Spirit without seed, namely, God the Word Himself specifically and truly, who was born of God the Father before all ages, and that she incorruptibly bore [Him?], her virginity remaining indestructible even after His birth, let him be condemned.

Canon 4. If anyone does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers, two nativities of our one Lord and God Jesus Christ, as before the ages from God and the Father incorporally and eternally, and as from the holy ever Virgin, Mother of God Mary, corporally in the earliest of the ages, and also one and the same Lord of us and God, Jesus Christ with God and His Father according to His divine nature and , consubstantial with man and His Mother according to the human nature, and the same one passible in the flesh, and impassible in the Godhead, circumscribed in the body, uncircumscribed in Godhead, the same one uncreated and created, terrestial and celestial, visible and intelligible, comprehensible and incomprehensible, that all mankind which fell under sin, might be restored through the same complete man and God, let him be condemned.

Canon 5. If anyone does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers one incarnate nature of God the Word, in this way, that our substance is called incarnate perfectly in Christ God and without diminution, provided substance is signified without sin, let him be condemned.

Canon 6. If anyone does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers, that from two and in two natures substantially united unconfusedly and undividedly there is one and the same Lord and God, Jesus Christ, let him be condemned.

Canon 7. If anyone does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers, the substantial difference of the natures preserved in Him, unconfusedly and undividedly, let him be condemned.

Canon 8. If anyone does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers the substantial union of the natures recognized in Him undividedly and unconfusedly, let him be condemned.

Canon 9. If anyone does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers, the natural properties of His Godhead and of His humanity preserved without diminution and without injury in Him, let him be condemned.

Canon 10. If anyone does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers two wills of one and the same Christ our God, united uninterruptedly, divine and human, and on this account that through each of His natures the same one of His own free will is the operator [Editors add: operator] of our salvation, let him be condemned.

Canon 11. If anyone does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers two operations of one and the same Christ our God uninterruptedly united, divine and human, from this that through each of His natures He naturally is the same operator of our salvation, let him be condemned.

Canon 12. If anyone according to the wicked heretics confesses one will and one operation of Christ our God, to the destruction of the confession of the holy Fathers and to the denial of the same dispensation of our Savior, let him be condemned.

Canon 13. If anyone according to the wicked heretics, contrary to the doctrine of the Fathers, confesses both one will and one operation, although two wills and two operations, divine and human, have been substantially preserved in union in Christ God, and have been piously preached by our holy Fathers, let him be condemned.

Canon 14. If anyone according to the wicked heretics, together with one will and one operation, which is impiously confessed by the heretics, denies and rejects both two wills and in like manner two operations, that is, divine and human, which are preserved in unity in the very Christ God, and are proclaimed in regard to Him in an orthodox manner by the holy Fathers, let him be condemned.

Canon 15. If anyone according to the wicked heretics unwisely accepts the divine-human operation, which the Greeks call (Greek text deleted),as one operation, but does not confess that it is twofold according to the holy Fathers, that is, divine and human, or that the new application itself of the word “divine-human” which has been used is descriptive of one, but not demonstrative of the marvelous and glorious union of both, let him be condemned.

Canon 16. If anyone according to the wicked heretics in the destruction of the two wills and the two operations, that is, divine and human, preserved essentially in unity in Christ God, and piously preached by the holy Fathers, foolishly connects discords and differences with the mystery of His dispensation, and so attributes the evangelical and apostolic words about the same Savior not to one and the same person and essentially to the same Lord Himself and God, our Jesus Christ, according to blessed Cyril, so that he is shown to be by nature God and likewise man, let him be condemned.

Canon 17. If anyone in word and mind does not properly and truly confess according to the holy Fathers all even to the last portion that has been handed down and preached in the holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church of God, and likewise by the holy Fathers and the five venerable universal Councils, let him be condemned.

Canon 18. If anyone according to the holy Fathers, harmoniously with us and likewise with the Faith, does not with mind and lips reject and anathematize all the most abominable heretics together with their impious writings even to one least portion, whom the holy Catholic and apostolic Church of God, that is, the holy and universal five Synods and likewise all the approved Fathers of the Church in harmony, rejects and anathematizes, we mean Sabellius, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Polemon, Eutyches, Dioscurus, Timothy Aelurus, Severus, Theodosius, Colluthus, Themistius, Paul of Samosata , Diodorus, Theodore, Nestorius, Theodulus the Persian, Origen, Didymus, Evagrius, and briefly all the remaining heretics, who have been condemned and cast out by the Catholic Church; whose teachings are the fruit of diabolical operation, and those, who unto the end have obstinately suggested (ideas) similar to these, or do suggest (them), or are believed to suggest (them), with whom (they are) justly (associated), inasmuch as (they are) like them and (are) possessed of a similar error, according to which they are known to teach and by their own error determine their lives, we mean, Theodore formerly Bishop of Pharan, Cyrus of Alexandria, Sergius of Constantinople, or his successors, Pyrrhus and Paul, persisting in their treachery, and all their impious writings; and those, who have unto the end obstinately suggested, or are suggesting, or are believed to suggest (ideas) similar to those, that is, one will and one operation of the divinity and humanity of Christ, and besides these the very impious Ecthesis, which was composed at the persuasion of the same Sergius by Heraclius, formerly emperor in opposition to the orthodox faith, defining that one will of Christ God, and one operation from the composite are to be venerated; but also everything, which has been impiously written or done by them in defense of it, and those who accept it, or any thing that has been written or done in defense of it; and together with those again the wicked Typus, who on the persuasion of the aforementioned Paul was prepared recently by the most serene Emperor Constantine [read: Constantius], the emperor against the Catholic Church, inasmuch as he promulgates equally the denial and by silence the binding together of two natural wills and operations, divine and human, which are piously preached by the holy Fathers in the very Christ, true God and our Savior, together with one will and operation, which is impiously venerated in Him by the heretics, and inasmuch as he unjustly defines that together with the holy Fathers the wicked heretics also are freed from all reprehension and condemnation, unto the trimming down of the definitions or of the rule of the Catholic Church.

If anyone therefore, as has been said, does not in agreement with us reject and anathematize all these most impious teachings of their heresy, and those matters which have been impiously written by anyone in defense of them or in definition of them, and the specifically designated heretics, we mean Theodore, Cyrus and Sergius, Pyrrhus and Paul, seeing that they are the rebels against the Catholic Church; or if anyone holds as condemned and entirely deposed some one of these who were in writing, or without writing, in any manner or place or time whatsoever rashly deposed or condemned by them (heretics) or by persons like them, inasmuch as the one condemned does not believe at all like them but with us confesses the doctrine of the holy Fathers-but, on the contrary (anyone) does not consider everybody who has been of this class-that is, whether bishop or priest or deacon or a member of any other ecclesiastical rank, or monk or layman-pious and orthodox and a defender of the Catholic Church, and also more firmly settled in the order to which he has been called by the Lord, but believes such (to be) impious and their judgments in defense of this detestable, or their opinions vain and invalid and weak, nay more wicked and execrable or worthy of condemnation, let such a person be condemned.

Canon 19. If anyone who indubitably has professed and also understands those (teachings) which the wicked heretics suggest, through vain impudence says that these are teachings of piety, which the investigators and ministers of the Word have handed down from the beginning, that is to say, the five holy and universal Synods, certainly calumniating the holy Fathers themselves and the five holy Synods mentioned, in the deception of the simple, or in the acceptance of their own impious treachery, let such a person be condemned.

Canon 20. If anyone according to the wicked heretics in any manner whatsoever, by any word whatsoever, or at any time or place whatsoever illicitly removing the bounds which the holy Fathers of the Catholic Church have rather firmly established[ Prov. 22:28], that is, the five holy and universal Synods, in order rashly to seek for novelties and expositions of another faith; or books, or letters, or writings, or subscriptions, or false testimonies, or synods, or records of deeds, or vain ordinations unknown to ecclesiastical rule; or unsuitable and irrational tenures of place; and briefly, if it is customary for the most impious heretics to do anything else, (if anyone) through diabolical operation crookedly and cunningly acts contrary to the pious preachings of the orthodox (teachers) of the Catholic Church, that is to say, its paternal and synodal proclamations, to the destruction of the most sincere confession unto the Lord our God, and persists without repentance unto the end impiously doing these things, let such a person be condemned forever,and let all the people say: so be it, so be it[ Ps. 105:48].

Source: http://www.catecheticsonline.com/SourcesofDogma3.php

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